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Sale Of Counterfeit Products Has Become Prolific On Internet, Needs To Be Arrested To Protect Customers, Trademark Owners: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
4 May 2022 10:30 AM GMT
Sale Of Counterfeit Products Has Become Prolific On Internet, Needs To Be Arrested To Protect Customers, Trademark Owners: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has observed that the sale of counterfeit or knock-off products has become prolific on the internet, which needs to be arrested in order to protect the owners of the trade marks as also the customers who purchase such products.Justice Pratibha M Singh made the aforesaid observation while dealing with a trademark infringement suit filed by Sirona Hygiene Private...

The Delhi High Court has observed that the sale of counterfeit or knock-off products has become prolific on the internet, which needs to be arrested in order to protect the owners of the trade marks as also the customers who purchase such products.

Justice Pratibha M Singh made the aforesaid observation while dealing with a trademark infringement suit filed by Sirona Hygiene Private Limited against M/s Parulben Navnath Chothani, trading as Shiv Enterprise.

Three e-commerce websites namely Snapdeal, Meesho and Amazon, through their companies were arrayed as Defendant No. 2, 3, and 4 respectively whereas Defendant No. 5 was a John Doe defendant.

The case of the Plaintiff was that it was engaged in the business of designing, production, manufacture, marketing and sale of various toiletries, personal care products, intimate hygiene products which focus on feminine hygiene and health.

The grievance of the Plaintiff was that look-alike and counterfeit products were being sold on the internet through the portal www.snapdeal.com, www.meesho.com and www.amazon.in by Defendant No.1 and other unknown Defendants.

It was also argued that some of the products which were being sold were under the identical mark "SIRONA" with almost identical getup, containers, packaging, etc. and further that in some of the products, slight variation of the mark, by using the brand "SIROMA" was also made.

"This Court has noticed in a number of cases that e-commerce platforms are being used for selling counterfeit and knockoff products. The present is a classic example of the same. The products of the Plaintiff are feminine hygiene products where the highest quality is expected to be adhered to. Under such circumstances the sale of counterfeit "SIRONA" or "SIROMA" branded products in identical containers, color combination would be nothing but a complete rip off for the consumers who may be purchasing these products under the impression that they originate from the Plaintiff," the Court observed at the outset.

Perusing the website printouts from Meesho.com, Snapdeal.com and Amazon.in, the Court was of the view that there was a complete confusion between "SIRONA" and "SIROMA" products.

Accordingly, the Court was of the view that the Plaintiff had made out a prima facie case for grant of an ex parte ad interim injunction.

"The Plaintiff's brand name is also likely to be diluted and tarnished if the sale of counterfeit products under the mark "SIRONA" and "SIROMA" is permitted to be carried on. It is also in the interest of general public that the said products are injuncted immediately," the Court said.

Thus, the Court restrained Defendant No.1 from manufacturing, selling advertising, distributing any feminine hygiene products or any other cognate or allied goods under the mark "SIRONA" or "SIROMA" or any mark that was identical or deceptively similar to Plaintiff's mark "SIRONA".

"Defendant Nos. 2, 3, and 4, which run the e-commerce platforms www.snapdeal.com, www.meesho.com, www.amazon.in respectively, shall immediately take down all the products which are bearing the mark "SIROMA" or SIRONA, not belonging to the Plaintiff, within 36 hours after receiving this order. If after 36 hours any further infringing products under the mark "SIROMA" are available on these platforms, the Plaintiff shall intimate the same along with URLs, to these platforms which shall be taken down within 36 hours from the intimation. If there are any residual products which are not taken down, the Plaintiff is permitted to approach the Court," the Court directed further.

The Court also directed the three websites to give a complete list of all the sellers of "SIRONA" and "SIROMA" feminine hygiene products or any cognate or allied goods being sold on their platforms to the Plaintiff.

The matter will now be heard on August 30.

Case Title: SIRONA HYGIENE PRIVATE LIMITED v. PARULBEN NAVNATH CHOTHANI TRADING AS SHIV ENTERPRISE & ORS.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 405

Click Here To Read Order 


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